McLaren Preview Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2011

November 5, 2011

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2011 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

 

Lewis Hamilton

“I have some fantastic memories of the Yas Marina Circuit. I started from pole position there in 2009, and I led the race until I was forced to stop because of a brake issue. Last year, I finished second and set the fastest lap, so we head there looking to convert all that potential into a race win.

“I think we’ve got every reason to be confident for Abu Dhabi. This circuit should really suit the characteristics of our car – we should be able to capitalise on the layout to maximise the benefit of DRS and KERS, both of which are very strong on our car.

“Red Bull and Sebastian [Vettel] may have clinched both championships, but I’m still determined to end the season on a winning high. I’ve won two grands prix this year, and I’d love to double that by the end of the year! It would also be a great reward for everybody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.”

Jenson Button

“Abu Dhabi has special memories for me because it was my first race after I’d won the world championship in 2009, so it made racing that weekend a really fun and enjoyable experience – I remember I had a fantastic battle with Mark [Webber] and finished third.

“The Yas Marina circuit looks and feels spectacular and futuristic: it’s a unique place – the way the circuit changes from dusk to darkness is incredible, and must be an amazing experience for the spectators. The way it’s built, the grandstands are almost on top the action so everyone gets a great view.

“It’s usually been quite difficult to overtake here, especially last year, but I think that DRS will change all that. The back straight is one of the longest in Formula 1 so I expect to see a lot of action there. It would be great to see the new rules turn this circuit into a place where overtaking is more common and more exciting.

“Our car should suit this circuit so I’m very optimistic. We saw at the last grand prix that even though we didn’t have the ultimate speed to catch and pass Sebastian, we made him work hard for the win. Tactically, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ran a first-class race: I got all the right calls from the pit wall and the pit crew did a fantastic job. The championship may not be at stake any more but we’re still aiming to win races and put on a tremendous show.”

Martin Whitmarsh

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“The Indian Grand Prix two weeks ago was a unique achievement for Formula 1, and next weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi will be another pinnacle for the sport at probably the most futuristic and impressive circuit on the calendar.

“Jenson was quick and incredibly consistent in India, putting us in a position where we could be a little bit adventurous with the tyre strategy and put the leader under greater pressure. I know Lewis was disappointed with the outcome of his own race but that will not affect his preparations for the next challenge. He has an extremely impressive track record in Abu Dhabi, starting from pole position in 2009 and setting the fastest lap on his way to the podium in 2010, so I’m very confident that he’ll shine this weekend.

“At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes we approach every grand prix with one aim: to win it. So while we can never be entirely happy with finishing second, as we did in India, we can be satisfied that we maximised the technical package we had and look at ways to go one better for the next race.

“Even though we’ve secured second place in the constructors’ championship, and Jenson has a very healthy margin in second place in the drivers’ championship, the season isn’t over for us by any means. We’re continuing to bring new developments to our car and we’ll be fighting every bit as hard as we did at the first race in Australia back in March.”

McLaren Race Report Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 30, 2011

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2011 INDIAN GRAND PRIX

 

“A very good result – and second place secured in the Constructors’ World Championship”

 

Buddh International Circuit, Sunday October 30

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-26A-01

Started:            4th

Finished:          2nd

Fastest lap:      1m27.967s (+0.718s, 4th)

Pitstops:          Two: laps 18 and 46 (Op-Op-Pr)

2011 points:     240 (2nd)

“In terms of team effort, we did everything right today – our car just wasn’t quite quick enough to actually win.

“I got a good start, made up places on the first lap and then settled down to keep Mark [Webber] behind me for five or six laps. Eventually, I think we ‘broke’ his rear tyres, which enabled me to establish a gap. Then I could set about Seb [Vettel] – but it was very difficult to close him down.

“At the final stop, it was a risk going to the harder tyre earlier than Seb, but we had to give it a go and it worked pretty well as I was able to close him down by a further three seconds. My car felt really good: before Seb could find his rhythm on the Prime, I was able to get the gap down to 2.8 seconds, but it wasn’t quite enough.

“Still, this was a very good result for us – and I think we delivered the maximum possible. I loved the whole experience this weekend. And I think every driver will be excited about coming back here because it’s such a phenomenal circuit; fast and flowing with a bit of everything. It gets a big tick from me.

“The Indian people have really welcomed us to their country; I’ve never seen so many people smiling before. And the crowd has been wonderful. I hope that Formula 1 grows in India in the future and that we get an even bigger crowd here next year.”

 

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-26A-03

Started:            5th

Finished:          7th

Fastest lap:      1m28.721s (+1.472s, 9th)

Pitstops:          Three: laps 16, 24 and 45 (Op-Op-Op & front wing- Pr)

2011 points:     202 (5th)

 

“The contact with Felipe [Massa] was just one of those things. I really didn’t feel like I was at fault – it was a racing incident.

“On the grid, just before the one minute’s silence, he and I were standing next to each other and I put my arm around him and told him: ‘Have a great race today.’ I’ve still got great respect for him.

“During the race, it felt like there was a vibration in the car through the right-handers: it felt like the floor was scraping on the ground, in fact. I was pushing as hard as I could, but couldn’t find the performance, so we’ll have to look into that.

“It’s been an eventful year, but there are more races ahead and I’ll try to score as many world championship points as possible in both of them. Jenson did a great job today, so clearly we were quick enough. I just need to try to pick up on that for the next race.”

MARTIN WHITMARSH

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Jenson made a great start and then drove a brilliant first few corners, working his way from fourth on the grid to second by the end of the first lap.

“He followed that with a truly excellent race-long performance, managing tyre wear where necessary yet still managing to keep up impressive race pace throughout. He didn’t ever have quite enough race pace to mount a concerted attack on Seb, but he got the maximum out of his car and beat everyone else fair and square.

“Lewis had a frustrating afternoon, but recovered well from his coming-together with Felipe to score a very useful half-dozen world championship points. We don’t yet know whether contact with the Ferrari caused damage to Lewis’s car – other than to the nosecone, obviously, which we changed in the pits – but, as I say, as a result of the 24 world championship points that he and Jenson notched up today, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has now secured second place in the 2011 Constructors’ World Championship. It’s always our aim to go one better than that – to win – and second isn’t good enough – but we’re pleased to have consolidated that position nonetheless.

“Last but far from least, I want to say that I thought the 2011 Indian Grand Prix was a fantastic success: a glittering spectacle and a marvellous addition to the international sporting calendar. Next, we go to Abu Dhabi, and then to Brazil, and we at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will be doing our utmost to win both those grands prix.”

Red Bull Qualifying Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 29, 2011

Microsoft Word - Indian GP - Qualifying.doc

Red Bull Preview Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 22, 2011

Red Bull Preview

HRT Preview Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 22, 2011

Indian Grand Prix Preview

28th-30th October

Buddh International Circuit, 60 laps, 5.137km

Madrid, 22nd of October 2011

“The Indian Grand Prix will be a step into the unknown for all the teams as the Formula 1 World Championship visits the Asian country for the first time ever. The 17th race of the season will be a special occasion for HRT F1 Team’s Narain Karthikeyan who will be racing in front of his home fans. The first ever Indian F1 driver will have the honour of taking part in his country’s inaugural Grand Prix and will enjoy every second of this huge occasion for his home nation. Daniel Ricciardo will pair with the 34-year-old Indian driver for this single event.

“The Buddh International Circuit is a fast track with a width of up to 20 metres in certain areas which should mean that overtaking opportunities won’t be scarce. The circuit is up and down with 8% downhill slopes and 10% inclines adding to the challenge of the track. There are three high speed straights and a number of slow speed turns meaning that getting the set-up right won’t be an easy task.  For this race Pirelli has nominated their PZero hard (prime) and soft (option) tyres.”

Narain Karthikeyan: “Driving in front of the home crowd cheering on is going to be a surreal experience. A once in a lifetime experience and I feel extremely fortunate. There is a huge buzz around the Grand Prix already and I’m sure that it’ll be a resounding success that will motivate more youngsters towards the sport and give us the future F1 drivers. Making it into F1 at the time I did was a seriously uphill task and the thought of being able to compete in the inaugural Indian GP was non-existent. But it is finally here and I’ll be on the grid. It is going to be one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar. There are points at which, if you’re in an F1 car, you will see nothing but the sky. The layout itself is going to put tremendous energy through the tyres and the strategy will play a key role in the final result. For sure I’ll race hard and try to get a good result for myself and the team. I would like to ex press my gratitude towards Tata Group and the rest of sponsors for their continued support and belief throughout my career”.

Daniel Ricciardo: “I haven’t seen the circuit yet but I’ve tried it out on Red Bull’s simulator. I’ve heard it looks quite good from Mark and Sebastian and if they say that then usually their judgment is pretty good. It’s always nice to go to a new place and circuit. I think every driver is excited to see what it is like. I like Indian food but it’s a little bit heavy, perhaps not the best for the diet, I will be quite careful leading up to the weekend but maybe on Sunday night I will enjoy a good curry. I did a show run in India a couple of weeks ago and there were loads of people, I’ve heard it’s already sold out so there should be quite a good turnout for the race. We had a good performance in Korea and I hope we can keep on improving in India”.

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “Finally the time has come and we are heading to India for the first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix in its history. Going to new countries and race tracks gives all teams and sponsors a new platform and opens new opportunities that can be highly beneficial to the sport. Despite not being the most popular sport in India, the excitement around the Grand Prix and the effort that everybody is doing, makes us think that it will be an extremely popular event. And for HRT, it is even more special. Having Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian driver in F1 history, and Tata with us makes it feel like a home race. Narain is a talented driver and we are proud to be going down this path with him. For this single event, Narain will be driving alongside Daniel Ricciardo. I have asked Tonio Liuzzi to step aside  for the Indian GP in order to allow driving programs with Ricciardo and Karthikeyan to be completed. I have to thank Tonio for his professional approach and attitude. After the positive performance the team had in Korea, I hope that we will keep on that line in India. Although Narain has already driven around the track and given us a positive feedback, we really don’t know what to expect but we are looking forward to it”.

McLaren Race Report Korean Grand Prix 2011

October 16, 2011

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2011 KOREAN GRAND PRIX

 

“Two brilliant racing drivers – who never give up”

 

Korea International Circuit, Sunday October 16

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-26A-03

Started:            1st

Finished:          2nd

Fastest lap:      1m40.459s (+0.689s, 3rd)

Pitstops:          Two: laps 15 and 33 (Op-Op- Pr)

2011 points:     196 (5th)

 

“This was one of my strongest races of the season. There was so much pressure from Mark [Webber] behind and it would have been so easy to make a mistake, lock up or go wide – but I’m really satisfied that I didn’t do so once. I believe that withstanding pressure is the mark of a world champion, and I think I showed that in today’s race.

“Our car started off reasonably well, but the front-end dropped away through the race. By the end, all the switches in the cockpit that could help me were adjusted to the maximum! The differential and front wing were at the maximum possible, and there was still nothing I could do.

“I was driving into corners with almost maximum lock and the car still wasn’t turning – so I couldn’t carry the speed through the corners, and that’s how Mark was able to catch me. It was only after the race that I discovered we had an issue with debris lodged in the front wing, and that’s probably what caused the understeer.

“This was a good, strong result for the team. The guys didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, so we should be proud of today’s result – but, man, it was hard!

“I really hope we can carry our continued momentum through the next three races. It feels good to be back.”

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-26A-01

Started:            3rd

Finished:          4th

Fastest lap:      1m40.709s (+1.104s, 7th)

Pitstops:          Two: laps 13 and 34 (Op-Op-Pr)

2011 points:     222 (2nd)

“I don’t think I could have done much more than fourth today. I struggled to get rid of my understeer throughout the whole race, so fourth was a fair reflection of what the car was capable of today.

“On the first lap, I braked into Turn Three, but Felipe [Massa] went inside me and I got stuck on the outside and ended up losing quite a few places. At the end of the first lap, I was sixth, but I don’t think that poor first lap would have changed my result.

“Throughout the race, I didn’t have any front-end grip. I couldn’t get into the DRS zone either, so it was always tricky to try and close down the car in front when I lacked that straight-line advantage.

“I was passed by Nico [Rosberg] after my first pitstop when he ended up out-braking himself at the pit exit. The exit here is a bit unusual: if you leave the pits behind another car, then you’re probably going to be able to get ahead, because you get the benefit of the DRS into Turn Three. But Nico locked up out of the pits and ran wide, so I passed him, meaning he crossed the DRS line behind me and was able to use it to get past on the straight.

“I was able to nip back past pretty quickly and was able to close down on the battle for second between Lewis and Mark. But, towards the end of each stint, the front-end would drop away: I just couldn’t get close enough in the last sector. I added more front-end at the stops, but I had lots of understeer so I couldn’t get close enough to Mark [Webber] to use DRS. I think I only used DRS once in the entire race.

“Still, if this was a bad day, it wasn’t so bad!”

MARTIN WHITMARSH

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“I think Lewis’ drive today was utterly inspirational. He may be downplaying it, because he’s a perfectionist and he wanted to win, but to withstand such enormous pressure, for lap after lap, from a faster car, was a drive absolutely worthy of the great champions.

“His finishing position may only go down in the history books as another second place, but, make no mistake, this was a fantastic drive; beautifully assured and perfectly judged.

“To cap it all, the data showed that he was losing a significant amount of downforce from his front wing. After the race, we inspected Lewis’s front-wing and discovered that the left-hand slot-gap had become filled with congealed tyre rubber, doubtless a result of the marbles on the track.

“As a result, he was suffering with masses of understeer, which further hurts the tyres. In the circumstances, his was an absolutely fantastic drive because it would have been all too easy to have gone backwards when faced with such massive, and constant, pressure.

“Equally, Jenson posted another brilliant, measured drive. On Jenson’s car, too, we discovered after the race that he was also hurting from damage to his car – caused by a rock hitting the front wing. The resulting understeer doubtless also impaired Jenson’s ability to close down Mark in the track’s final sector, and therefore meant he was unable to mount a sustained attack in the DRS zone and secure third.

“Nevertheless, today showed that we have a very good racing car. But, more importantly, it showed that we have two brilliant racing drivers, who will fight from the start of the race to the end and who will never give up.

“Their spirited drives today are a just reward for the whole Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, who have spent the last fortnight away from their homes, families and friends. While we must all acknowledge the great achievement of Red Bull Racing in securing the constructors’ championship today, I also want to pay tribute to the efforts and sacrifices made by our whole team over these past two weeks. They enabled us to score 65 world championship points in the last two races – a total that now consolidates our position in the constructors’ championship. So, after two fantastic races in Japan and Korea, I want to say a heartfelt ‘thank-you’ to the whole team. There are three races remaining in 2011 – and I know I speak for everyone when I say we want to win all three.”

Red Bull Preview Japanese Grand prix 2011

October 5, 2011

Red Bull Preview

Webber Signs with Red Bull for 2012

October 4, 2011

Mark Webber

“Red Bull Racing is pleased to announce that Mark Webber’s contract has been extended for another year, meaning the Australian will continue to drive for the team in 2012.”

Mark Webber said: “I want to continue racing at the top in Formula One so it’s a no-brainer to remain at Red Bull Racing for another year. My motivation to achieve the best results possible both for myself and the team is still very high.

“Over the past five years, we have worked hard and proved that we can design and build a competitive and championship-winning car, and I’m looking forward to putting the car and myself on the limit again each and every race weekend in 2012.”

Christian Horner said: “When we sat down and started talking about 2012, it was immediately obvious that Mark and the team wanted to continue our successful relationship. This meant agreeing an extension for 2012 was very straightforward. Mark knows the team well, having been with us since 2007, and his motivation, fitness and commitment is as high as it has ever been.

“The pairing of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel is a very strong one, they push each other hard and we are extremely happy the pairing will remain unchanged for a fourth season.”

Red Bull Singapore Grand Prix 2011

September 26, 2011

Microsoft Word - Singapore GP - RACE.doc

Red Bull Qualifying Singapore Grand Prix 2011

September 25, 2011

Microsoft Word - Singapore GP - Qualifying.doc

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